Health Minister should halt cuts

30 11 2014


Protest Background 2

SDLP Health Spokesperson Fearghal McKinney has called on the Health Minister to halt the proposed cuts in response to the Chancellor’s announcement of a decision to spend an extra £2 billion on the UK health service.

The South Belfast MLA has called for a halt on proposed cuts this year and next year in the wake of the announcement that the Chancellor will put an extra £2 billion into front-line health services across the UK.
Mr McKinney said:
“This announcement of £2 billion extra funding for the UK Health service could result in the Northern Ireland Health Service receiving up to an extra £60 million.
“We all know of the pressures on the Northern Ireland Health Service is under and if there is any chance of more money, it should be welcomed.
“It is hoped that this extra funding will ease the growing pressures on front-line staff in the health service.
“Mr Wells should halt the cuts planned for this year and next year following this announcement and should rethink the budget once it has been confirmed how much the DHSSPS will receive from this funding.
“I plan to raise this issue as an Urgent Oral Question in the Assembly tomorrow. Patients should not have this uncertainty hanging over them.”


15 11 2014


Dal 3SDLP health spokesperson Fearghal McKinney has said the Health Minster needs to explain to the people affected by closures at Dalriada Hospital and elsewhere just who is in charge at the department.

 Mr McKinney, speaking at the SDLP’s Annual Conference 2014, said:

 “The people of Ballycastle aren’t one bit impressed that the Health Minister Jim Wells is saying that he’s worried about the implications to Dalriada. He should be because his words show that he’s not in charge.

 “His Parliamentary Assistant is vowing to the people of Bangor that he’ll find the money to keep its minor injury unit open. But who is in charge? The minister is worried about Dalriada and his assistant is worried about Bangor. I believe the civil servants are in charge and Minister Wells is discovering that he’s nothing more than a bird in a gilded cage when it comes to decision making.

“The public are worried over both decisions. We also know that there is not a plan in place for the future of both, just more cuts. Let the minister announce now that he’ll stop the cuts until there is a proper review.

“Let the minister prove that if he is cutting anything, it will be consistent with a long-term plan to improve our Health Service and return proper services to the community. To do that, the minister needs to clarify just who is in charge at the Department of Health.”